MONETA, Va. (WFXR) — Virginia ranks in the Top Ten nationally in wine production, and wine industry experts say the commonwealth’s reputation as a wine producer is on the rise.
Virginia wine growers are dealing with higher input costs, and that is affecting their bottom lines, as well as the prices they charge consumers.
Labor costs are higher. Diesel and fertilizer costs have also gone up significantly in the past two years. Plus, winemakers are also affected by something other growers do not have to deal with.
“Glass is a big category that we’ve seen go up,” said Thomas Vandiver.
Vandiver is one of the owners of Ramulose Ridge Vineyards in Moneta.
“Although we do make the wine here, we don’t make the glass,” said Vandiver. “That has really seen an impact globally. When you think about a bottle of wine, it’s about half glass by weight, so that’s a big category that’s gone up.”
Despite higher costs, Vandiver says his goal remains the same, and that is to provide a quality vintage. To do that, he depends on technology and the latest research, but he also studies winemaking traditions and history.
“I like to blend the two,” said Vandiver. “I like to hear what’s coming out of research that’s new and exciting, but then I listen to the old-timers because as a civilization we’ve been producing wine for thousands of years. Some of those fundamentals never change. Sometimes the old way is the best way. The most important thing to do in the field, and in the cellar, and in the tasting room; the most important ingredient is hard work. It’s doing it the right way.”